"I am 'blessed' with lower back pain. It is nothing that requires surgery, nothing of major concern. It is just that over the past few years I have become accustomed to the small, sharp pain near the bottom of my spine. Each morning when I awaken I stretch the sleep out of me and get ready for the day. I shower, dress, and as I go down the stairs to begin my day, I remember my discomfort as a 'blessing.' I consciously recite the traditional Jewish one-line blessings of the morning and pause as I come to the words: 'Praised are You, Adonai our God, whose presence fills the universe, zokef kefufim, who straightens those who are bent over.' As I say this ancient blessing aloud, I straighten my backbone just for a moment, and I am reminded that my back is a gift from God — pain and all. I am thankful for the ability to stand up erect and tall. God has created me the way I am, and I am grateful."